Bruce Almighty Review

by David N. Butterworth (dnb AT dca DOT net)
June 26th, 2003

A film review by David N. Butterworth
Copyright 2003 David N. Butterworth

*1/2 (out of ****)

    God Almighty! Even Jim Carrey, whose mere presence can often liven up a film lacking in luster (see: "Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls"), can't save the almighty turkey that is "Bruce Almighty."

    The fear, of course, is that Carrey is turning into Robin Williams--once brilliant, unique, hysterical, now a seriously unfunny has-been.

    The film's setup smacks of potential: Bruce Nolan (Carrey), a frustrated, overlooked news reporter in Buffalo, NY who dreams of making anchor, complains so much about God's mishandling of his life that the big man upstairs (played by Morgan Freeman in a white suit) challenges Bruce to do better, with all the God-like skills at his disposal, of course. In fact, this concept has even more going for it than the idea of Carrey playing a schizophrenic (see: "Me, Myself & Irene"). And while that film was pretty bad, at least it was peppered
with occasional chuckles.

    "Bruce Almighty" has almost zero laughs to its credit. Carrey seems tired;
out of sorts, unable to connect. The physical jerks and the facial
and the funny voices are all in evidence but they're buried beneath a stillborn
script that takes forever to get going (the setup, for example, takes ages!) and bores the pants off you thereafter.

    Jennifer Aniston is lovely as Bruce's devoted, live-in love Grace but when
you're cast as "Jim Carrey's girlfriend" donít expect to steal any scenes. Predictably, Bruce firsts squanders his almighty powers to fulfill his own selfish
needs but gets serious and sappy later on, as does the movie. Tom Shadyac (who's
worked with Carrey before--see: "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective" and "Liar, Liar") directs at arm's length and misses a golden opportunity here.

    "Bruce Almighty" is God Awful.

David N. Butterworth
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